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A7i Address Delivered before the Fac- 
ulty and Students of the Ihiiversity 
of Notre Dame, October 5, 1904. 
From the Author's Manuscript 






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Kotre Dame, Indiana. 

The Church and Our Government 
in the Philippines 

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The Church and Our Govern 
ment in the Philippines 

An Address Delivered Before the Faculty and 
Students of the University of Notre Dame, 
Octobers, 1904. From the Author's Manuscript 





• • • 

• •» : . • •' 



The Church and Our Government 
In the Philippines. 

SINCE my return from the Philippine 
Islands, it has been my privilege 
to discuss the question touching Church 
and State arising in the administration of 
those islands, before Presbyterian and 
Episcopalian bodies and before the General 
Chautauqua Assembly. This is the first 
time that I have addressed a distinctly 
Catholic audience upon the subject. I am 
glad to do so, because, naturally, the Roman 
Catholics of America are more closely 
interested than any other denomination in 
such issues, affecting, as they do, 7,000,000 
of people in the archipelago, a large 
majority of w^hom are Roman Catholics. 

Magellan, in search of spices, was the first 
European to land in the Philippine Islands. 
He lost his life near the present city of Cebu 
in 1521. The archipelago was not really 
taken possession of as a colony of Spain 
until 1565. This was in the reign of 
Philip II. The colonization of the Philip- 
pines had its motive not in gain but in 
the desire to extend the Christian religion. 
The islands were indeed a Christian mission 


— 6 — 

rather than a colony, and this characteristic 
has affected their histor}^ to the present 
day. It is true that Legaspi, the former 
alcalde of the city of Mexico, who was sent 
out with Friar Urdaneta, of the Augustinian 
Order, was directed to examine the ports 
of the Philippine Islands and to establish 
trade with the natives; and that the 
importance of winning the friendship of the 
natives was emphasized as a means of 
continuing the trade. But the viceroy of 
Philip II. ordered Legaspi to treat the five 
Augustinian Friars in his company with 
the utmost respect and consideration, so 
that the natives should also hold them in 
respect; ''since," as he wrote to Legaspi, 
"you are aware that the chief thing sought 
after by his Majesty is the increase of the 
Holy Catholic Faith and the salvation of 
the souls of these infidels." In other Spanish 
expeditions the sum of money paid for the 
trip was paid by adventurers who con- 
tributed part of the fund and who w^ere 
aided from the royal treasury, the under- 
standing being that there should be an 
equitable division of the profits between 
the adventurers and the king. There v^as, 
however, no adventurer connected with this 
expedition. It was purely a governmental 
enterprise sent out by order of Philip II., 
and he paid all the expenses. A contem- 

— 7 — 

porary writer says that when the king was 
informed that the PhiHppines were not rich 
in gold and pearls and that their occupation 
might not be lucrative but the reverse, 
he answered: ''That is not a matter ot 
moment; I am an instrument of Divine 
Providence. The main thing is the conver- 
sion of the kingdom of Luzon ; and God has 
predestined me for that end, having chosen 
me His king for that purpose. And since 
He has intrusted so glorious a w^ork to 
me and my crown, I shall hold the islands 
of Luzon, even though by doing so I exhaust 
my treasury." 

Again, in 1619, in the reign of Philip IIL, 
it was proposed to abandon the Philippines 
on the ground of their useless expense to 
Spain, and an order to that eifect was 
given. A delegation of Spanish friars from 
the archipelago, however, implored the king 
not to abandon the 200,000 Christians 
whom they had by that time converted, 
and the order was countermanded. 

I may digress here to say that some years 
before the American occupation, a popular 
subscription was taken up in Manila to pay 
for the erection of the statue of Legaspi, 
the founder of the city. Subsequently the 
plan was changed so as to include Urdaneta, 
the Augustinian Friar, who accompanied 
Legaspi. Querol, a Spanish sculptor of note. 


designed the monument, and it was cast in 
bronze and sent to Manila. When the Amer- 
ican forces captured the place, there were 
found in the Custom House the various pieces 
of the monument, but nothing looking 
to its erection had been done. The military 
government of Manila under General Davis, 
decided, and properly decided, that it would 
be a graceful act on the part of the American 
authorities to erect the monument. This 
was done, and the monument now stands 
on the Luneta overlooking the Bay ot 
Manila, and occupies the most prominent 
site in the whole archipelago. It is a 
work of art. The two figures are instinct 
with courage and energy. Legaspi on the 
right bears in his left hand the standard of 
Spain ; on the left, and slightly in advance 
of Legaspi, Urdaneta carries in his right 
hand, and immediately in the front of the 
Spanish standard, the cross. The whole, 
as an artistic expression, satisfies the 
sense of admiration that one feels in 
reading of the enterprise, courage and 
fidelity to duty that distinguished those 
heroes of Spain who braved the then 
frightful dangers of the deep to carry 
Christianity and European civilization into 
the far-off Orient. 

Under the circumstances I have described, 
the occupation of the islands took on a 

— 9— • 

different aspect from that of ordinary 
seeking for gold and profit, and was not in 
the least like the conquest of Pizarro and 
Cortez. The natives were treated with great 
kindness and consideration. The priests 
exerted every effort to conciliate them. The 
government was first established at Cebu, 
subsequently at Iloilo in Panay, and finally 
at Manila in 1571. There was at Manila 
some fighting of a desultory and not very 
bloody character; but Legaspi, obeying 
the direction of his superior, at once entered 
into negotiations with the natives. He found 
that there was no great chief in command, 
but that each town had its own chief and 
there was no other government than that of 
many petty rulers. They were jealous of one 
another, were easily induced to acknowledge 
allegiance to the King of Spain, and were 
quickly brought under the influence of the 
active missionary efforts of the friars who 
accompanied Legaspi. History affords few 
instances in which sovereignty was extended 
over so large a territory and so many 
people (for the island must then have had 
half a million inhabitants) with less blood- 
shed. When Legaspi's lieutenant, Salcedo, 
first visited Manila, he found evidence that 
there had been an effort to convert the 
people to Mohammedanism, but it had not 
proceeded far. Undoubtedly, if Legaspi had 


not at that time come into the islands, all 
the peoples of the archipelago, instead of 
only five per cent of them, would now, 
have been Mohammedan. The willingness of 
the natives to embrace Christianity, their 
gentle natures and their love of the solemn 
and beautiful ceremonies of the Catholic 
Church, enabled the friars to spread Christi- 
anity through the islands with remarkable 

It should be borne in mind that these are 
a Malay people; and that nowhere in the 
world, except in the Philippine Islands, has 
the Malay been made a Christian. In other 
places where the race abides, Mohamme- 
danism has become its religion; and there 
is no condition of mind which offers such 
resistance to the inculcating of Christianity 
as that found in the followers of the 
Prophet of Mecca. 

The friars learned the various dialects ot 
the natives, and settled down to live with 
them as their protectors and guardians. In 
the first two hundred years of Spanish occu- 
pation, the Crown had granted to various 
Spanish subjects large tracts of land called 
encomiendas. To those who occupied these 
encomiendas it was intended to give the 
character of feudal lords. They, of course 
came into contact w^ith the natives and 
attempted to use them for the develop- 


ment of their properties. The history 
of the islands until 1800 shows that the 
friars who had increased in number from 
time to time were constantly exercising 
their influence to restrain abuse of the 
natives by these encomienderos, or large 
land-owners ; and the result of their efforts 
is seen in the royal decrees issued at their 
request, which were published and became 
known as the "Laws of the Indies." It is 
very probable that the encomienderos fre- 
quently violated the restrictions w^hich v^ere 
put upon them by these laws in dealing with 
the natives; but there is nothing to show 
that the friars winked at this or that they 
did not continue to act sincerely as the 
protectors of the natives down to the 
beginning of the past century. Under the 
law a native could not be sued unless there 
was made party to the suit an official who 
was ordinarily a friar, known as ''the 
Protector of the Indian." The encomiendero 
who had to do with the natives was 
not permitted to live in a town on his 
own estates where the natives lived. The 
friars exerted their influence to induce the 
natives to live in tow^ns near the church 
and the convento, or parish house, because 
they thought that this would bring the 
natives more fully ''under the the bells," 
as they called it, or within religious 


influence. One of the friars laid down as 
a rule, which was adopted by his Order 
and approved by the government as early 
as 1580, the following: 

1. **It is proper that pueblos should be 
formed, the missionaries being ordered to 
establish themselves at a certain point where 
the church and the parish house (convento), 
which w^ill serve as a point of departure for 
the missions, will be built. The new Chris- 
tians will be obliged to build their houses 
about the church, and the heathen will 
be advised to do so. 

2. ** Elementary schools should be estab- 
lished, in which the Indians will be taught 
not only Christian doctrine and reading 
and writing, but also arts and trades; so 
that they may become not only good 
Christians but also useful citizens." 

So great and complete became the control 
which the friars exercised over the natives 
by reason of their sincere devotion to their 
interests, that Spain found it possible to 
police the islands with very few troops. 

The Spanish military force in the Philip- 
pines in 1600 was 470 oflficers and men. 
In 1636 this had increased to 1762 
Spaniards and 140 natives. From 1828 to 
1896 the Spanish forces varied from 1000 
to 3000 officers and men. In 1896, just 
before the revolution, the army included 

— IS- 
IS, 000 men, of whom 3000 were Spaniards; 
and a constabulary of 3500 men most of 
whom were natives. 

The Spaniards, but not the natives, v^ere 
until 1803 subject to the jurisdiction of the 
Inquisition. Idolatries, heresies and errors 
of belief committed by the natives were 
brought before the bishop of the diocese, but 
not before the Holy Office. 

Although the natives held slaves, upon the 
arrival of the Spaniards the custom was 
discouraged by a law forbidding Span- 
iards to hold slaves, and by prohibiting 
judges from deciding in cases of dispute 
whether a man was a slave ; so that a slave 
appearing before the court was ordinarily 

In Cavite the friars maintained a hospital 
for sick sailors; in Manila, Los Banos and 
Caceres were hospitals for sick natives; 
in Manila, Pila and Caceres were hospitals 
for Spaniards, the clergy and natives who 
could afford to pay. In Manila was main- 
tained a hospital for sick negro slaves. 

Between 1591 and 1615, the friars of the 
Philippines had sent missionaries to Japan, 
wrho devoted themselves to the succor of the 
poor and needy there, and especially the 
lepers of that country ; so that there were in 
Japan, when the ports of that country were 
closed, about thirty-two priests. Twenty-six 

— 14 — 

of them were crucified or burned alive. When 
the Mikado expelled the Christians he sent to 
the governor-general of the Philippines three 
junks laden with 150 lepers, v^ith a letter in 
which he stated that, as the Spanish friars 
v^ere so anxious to provide for the poor and 
afflicted, he sent them a cargo of men who 
were really sorely oppressed. These unfort- 
unates v^ere taken ashore and housed at 
Manila, in the hospital of San Lazaro, which 
has ever since been used for lepers. 

I draw much of what I have said from an 
introduction by Captain John R. M. Taylor, 
of the 14th Infantry, Assistant to the Chief 
of the Bureau of Insular Affairs, who is 
engaged in compiling original documents 
connected w^ith the Philippines, with notes. 
Speaking of what the friars did in the 
islands, Captain Taylor says : 

*'To accomplish these results required 
untiring energy and a high enthusiasm 
among the missionaries, in whom the fierce 
fires of religious ardor must have consumed 
many of the more kindly attributes ol 
humanity. Men who had lived among 
savages, trying to teach them the advan- 
tages of peace and the reasonableness of a 
higher life, who had lived among them 
speaking their tongues until they had 
almost forgotten their own, must have felt 
when promoted to the high places in the 

— 15 — 

religious hierarchy, that their sole duty was 
to increase the boundaries of the vineyard in 
which they had worked so long. Spain had 
ceased to be everything to them : their Order 
was their country ; and the cure of souls, and 
the accumulation of means for the cure of 
souls was the truest patriotism. . . . They 
were shepherds of a very erring flock. 
Spanish officials came and w^ent, but the 
ministers of the Church remained, and as 
they grew to be the interpreters of the 
wants of the people, and in many cases 
their protectors against spoliation, power 
fell into their hands." 

The influence of the friars was thrown 
against the investigation and development 
of the resources of the Philippines. The 
priests reasoned that the working of the 
mines in Peru and Mexico had meant suffer- 
ing and death to many of the natives ; and 
that it was better to let the mines in the 
Philippines, if mines there were, lie unopened. 
Few Spanish merchants lived permanently 
in the islands, and these were chiefly engaged 
in the transshipment of Asiatic merchandise 
from Manila, and had but little interest in 
Philippine products. The internal develop- 
ment of the islands was neglected. Taxes 
were light, and there was little money to 
make improvements or to establish schools. 
One Spanish - speaking priest among three 


or four thousand natives could not do much 
in spreading the knowledge of the language. 
It is probable that, apart from the con- 
venience of the priest's learning the language 
of his parish instead of requiring the 
parishioners to learn his, it w^as deemed 
expedient from a moral standpoint to keep 
the common people ignorant of Spanish. 
To know^ Spanish meant contact v^ith the 
outside w^orld, and the priests feared — not 
civilization, but the evils of civilization. 
Modem material progress seemed to the 
Spanish missionaries of little w^orth, com- 
pared with keeping their people innocent. 

It ought to be noted, however, that while 
the policy of the friars seems to have been 
to keep the common people in a state of 
Christian pupilage, they founded a university, 
that of St. Thomas, which is older than 
either Harvard or Yale, and is still doing 
educational work. The Jesuits, too, founded 
and are now carrying on several very good 
academic schools in Manila, and there are a 
few others in the islands. All the well- 
educated Filipinos owe their education to 
institutions of learning founded by friars or 
Jesuits, or conducted under their auspices. 

This brief description of the control of 
the Philippine Islands and of the Philippine 
people by a thousand Spanish friars prior 
to the nineteenth century, at once prompts 

— 17 — 

the question how it has come about that the 
PhiHppine people now manifest such hos- 
tihty to those who were for two hundred 
and fifty years their sincere and earnest 
friends, benefactors and protectors? There 
were several causes for the change. The 
intimate and affectionate relations existing 
between the friars and their native parish- 
ioners had led to the education of natives 
as priests, and to the acceptance of some 
of them as members of the religious orders. 
Before 1800, of the bishops and archbishops 
who had been appointed in the islands, 
twelve were natives; but after the first 
years of the nineteenth century no such 
places of preferment were offered them ; and 
after 1832 they were not allowed to become 
members of the religious orders. This 
change of policy created a cleavage between 
the native clergy and the friars, which 
gradually widened. In all countries in 
which the Roman Catholic religion has 
become fairly established, it has been the 
ultimate policy of Rome to make the Church 
as popular as possible by appointing the 
priests and the hierarchy from the natives 
of the country; but in the Philippines, and 
especially in the nineteenth century, under 
the Spanish influence — which, by means ot 
the Concordat between the Spanish Crown 
and Rome, largely excluded the direct 

— i8 — 

interposition of Rome in the Philippines — 
a different pohcy was followed, and the 
controlling priesthood was confined as rnuch 
as possible to the dominant and alien race. 
The inevitable result of this policy, as 
soon as any small percentage of the 
Philippine people passed out from under 
the pupilage of the Spanish friars, was to 
create an opposition to them among the 

In 1767, the Jesuits had been banished 
from the islands by the Pragmatic Sanc- 
tion of Charles the Third, and their 
properties had been confiscated. They were 
at the time very powerful and rich, and 
the thirty -two parishes to which they 
had administered were now given over, 
through the influence of a secular arch- 
bishop, to native priests. The parishes 
were chiefly in the provinces of Cavite, 
Manila and Bulacan. In 1852, the Jesuits 
were permitted to return, and the order 
permitting their return directed that they 
should receive again their thirty-two 
parishes, but in the remote Island of 
Mindanao. Those parishes had been occu- 
pied by Recolletos, the barefooted branch 
of the Franciscan Order. The Recolletos 
demanded that if they were turned out of 
their parishes in Mindanao, they should 
be restored to the parishes occupied by 

— 19 — 

the native secular clergy in Cavite, Manila 
and Bulacan, which had been originally 
Jesuit parishes. This proposal was resisted 
by the native secular clergy, but was, 
nevertheless, carried into effect, increasing 
the hostility already existing on the part 
of the native clergy toward the friars. 
The bitterness of feeling thus engendered 
spread among the people. 

Secondly, the friars had become, generally 
by purchase, large landowners. They held 
land enough to nlake up 250,000 acres in 
the Tagalog provinces in the immediate 
neighborhood of Manila. This land, which 
was rented by them to thousands of tenants, 
was the best cultivated land in the islands, 
and was admirably suited for the cheap 
conveyance of the crops to market. Charges 
were made that the friars were collecting 
exorbitant rents; and other agrarian diffi- 
culties arose, which, however free from 
blame the friars may have been, contributed 
very decidedly to the growing feeling on 
the part of the native people against their 
former friends and protectors. 

Finally, the construction of the Suez Canal 
brought the Philippines into comparatively 
close communication w^ith Spain, and hordes 
of Spanish adventurers came to the islands. 
Republican or liberal political views which 
were then spreading in Spain, leading later to 

— 20 — 

the formation for a short time of a Spanish 
republic, reached Manila, and, finding 
lodgment among some of the educated 
Filipinos led to a small uprising and 
so-called insurrection in 1870. A prominent 
Filipino priest named Burgos, who had been 
active in the controversies between the friars 
and the native clergy, was charged with 
complicity in this uprising, was convicted 
and was shot on the Luneta. The Spanish 
government looked to the Spanish friars, 
because of their intimacy v^ith the people 
and control over them, to do what was 
necessary in ferreting out sedition or 
treason, supposed to be then rife. By 
custom, and subsequently by law, to the 
parish priest was given complete super- 
visory power over the municipal government 
of his town. His civil functions became 
very many, and one of his chief duties 
was supposed by the people to be to report 
to the central government at Manila the 
persons in his parish whose political views 
or actions were hostile to the Spanish regime. 
The friars thus became involved in a reaction- 
ary policy, which placed them in opposition 
to the people, and made them responsible 
in the popular mind for the severity with 
which the Spanish government punished 
those suspected of liberal political opinions. 
So bitter did the feeling become that in the 


revolution of 1898 there were forty friars 
killed and three hundred imprisoned; and 
the latter were released only by the 
advance of the American forces and the 
capture of the towns in which they were 

I have at various times discussed the 
dilemma which was presented to the United 
States after the battle of Manila Bay and 
the taking of the city of Manila, the signing 
of the protocol, and when the question arose 
as to what form the treaty of peace should 
take. It is not my purpose now^ to review^ 
the situation; it has convinced me that 
the course which was taken — to wit, that 
of assuming sovereignty over the islands — 
was the only honorable course open to 
the United States. 

The condition of the Roman Catholic 
Church after the treaty of peace between 
Spain and the United States was a critical 
one; and while it has somewhat improved, 
there still remains much to be desired before 
the Church can assume its proper sphere of 
usefulness. Many of the churches were injured 
in the war of the insurrection, and many of 
the parishes had to be abandoned for lack of 
priests. The native clergy, consisting mainly 
of priests of limited education who had acted 
as assistants to the friars, have become 
the parish priests; and the learning and 


character of many of them are by no means 
as high as those of CathoHc priests of other 
countries. The friars who were parish priests 
could not return to the parishes because of 
the enmity felt against them; and it was 
difficult to obtain priests from other lands 
who could discharge the duties of ministers 
of religion among people whom they did 
not understand and who did not understand 
them. I am informed that arrangements are 
now^ being made to bring in French, Bel- 
gian and American missionaries. The funds 
which the Spanish government was under 
obligation to furnish for the salaries of the 
parish priests, by reason of the Concordat 
with the Pope, are of course not now 
available ; and this makes it important, from 
a churchman's standpoint, that as much of 
the money as possible realized from the 
friars' lands should be kept in the coffers 
of the Philippine Church. The truth is 
that the Church has been placed under the 
necessity of preparing a new priesthood and 
of establishing the old church on a new 
foundation. The policy of the Vatican looks 
now to the creation as soon as practicable 
of a new clergy by the education of young 
Filipinos of good character in theological 
seminaries to be established for the purpose 
in Manila, Rome and America. 
The transfer of a people from a sovereignty 

— 23 — 

like that of Spain — in which the Church and 
government and the State were so closely 
united that it is at times very difficult to 
distinguish .the possessions and functions 
of each — to a sovereingty like that of the 
United States, in which the Church and the 
state must be separate, has presented a 
number of most interesting questions for 
readjustment and settlement ; and these 
questions have been much complicated by 
the political bearing which the hostility of 
the people toward the friars' ownership of 
large argricultural holdings has had upon 
the situation. 

Let us take up, in order, the classes of ques- 
tions arising between the Roman Catholic 
Church and the government of the Philippine 
Islands established by the United States : 

First. The three orders — the Augustinians, 
the RecoUetos and the Dominicans — owned ^ 
among them about 420,000 acres of land. 
Of this, 120,000 acres had been very recently 
acquired by grant of the Spanish govern- 
ment, 60,000 acres of it lay in the remote 
province of Isabela and was granted to the 
Augustinian Order, in order to secure its 
improvement; and a similar grant in the 
Island of Mindoro was made to the 
RecoUetos. The remaining 300,000 acres, 
however, had been held by the Orders for 
periods ranging from 50 to 200 years. I 

— 24 — 

do not find any indication that this land was 
acquired through undue influence as has been 
sometimes charged. The chain of titles seems 
to show that it was all purchased either at 
private sale or public auction. The lands, 
especially those in the neighborhood of 
Manila, the friars highly improved by 
irrigation at large expense. After the 
Revolution of 1896, the popular feeling 
against the friars made the collection of 
rents from their tenants impossible. 

The Insurgent Congress at Malolos, under 
Aguinaldo, passed acts confiscating to the 
Filipino Republic all the lands of the friars 
in the islands; and many of the tenants 
based their refusal to pay rents to the friars' 
agents on the ground of this "nationalizing" 
of the lands, as it was called. 

In 1901, American civil government was 
established, and courts were created for the 
purpose of determing civil rights. The friars 
had meantime transferred their titles to 
promoting companies, taking back shares 
in the corporations as a consideration for 
the transfers. With the restoration of tran- 
quillity in 1902, there was no just reason 
why the companies now owning the lands 
should not proceed to collect their rents and 
to oust the tenants if the rents w^ere not 
paid. The tenants were sullen and not 
disposed to recognize the titles of the friars 

— 25 — 

or to pay their rents. A sytematic attempt 
to collect the rents would involve eviction 
suits against many thousand tenants ; 
judgment w^ould doubtless follow^ the suits, 
and the executive officers of the courts must 
then proceed to evict from their houses and 
homes thousands of farmers in the most 
populous provinces of the islands, and chiefly 
among the Tagalogs, a tribe easily aroused 
to disturbance and insurrection. After four 
years of the difficult w^ork of tranquillization 
it seemed impossible, w^ere these evictions to 
be instituted, to avoid a return to the dis- 
turbed conditions that had so injuriously 
affected the interests of the islands betv^een 
1898 and 1902. Something must be done 
to avoid the manifest danger to the public 
peace and to vy^ell-ordered government v^hich 
w^holesale evictions of the character described 
would involve. 

Second. It was found that the political 
hostility toward the friars was so great on 
the part of the people that any eff*ort to send 
them from Manila, where they were housed 
in their monasteries, to the parishes where 
they had formerly exercised priestly func- 
tions, created disturbances that it was 
difficult for the civil government to control. 
On political grounds, therefore, it seemed 
wise for the Church on the friendly sug- 
gestion of the government, to select other 


ministers than the Spanish members of the 
Orders which had aroused such poHtical 
antagonism among the people in the recent 
history of the islands. 

Third. Under the Spanish regime, when- 
ever either a civil or religious charity or 
school was founded and maintained, the 
immediate executive officers selected by the 
government for the purpose of supervising 
and carrying on such institutions were 
members of the clergy. There were several 
large foundations, educational and charit- 
able, with respect to which the claim was 
made, as soon as the United States govern- 
ment assumed control, that they were not 
religious charities and so subject to tl;ie 
control of the Roman Catholic Church ; but 
that they were really civil foundations, the 
care and custody of which necessarily passed 
with the transfer of sovereignty from the 
Crown of Spain to the government of the 
United States. This question has arisen 
with respect to two hospitals, and the 
College of San Jose. The union of Church 
and State under the Spanish regime was 
so close that the decision whether a 
particular foundation was civil or religious 
involves a consideration of some of the 
nicest and most puzzling points of law. 
Take the instance of the College of San Jose. 

A Spaniard named Figueroa, who was 

— 27 — 

governor of the Island of Mindanao in 
1600, died and left a will by which he gave 
a fund for the establishment and assistance 
of a school for the education of young 
Spaniards. In this will, he directed specifi- 
cally that the school should not be subject 
to ecclesiastical domination; but he provided 
that the pupils should have a Christian 
education, and that the rector of the school 
should be the head of the Jesuit Order in 
the Philippines. In 1767, as already said, 
the Jesuits were expelled from the islands 
by the King of Spain. After the Jesuits 
left, the Archbishop of Manila and the 
governor -general took possession of the 
property of the College of San Jose and 
divided it between them for Church and 
governmental purposes. When this was 
brought to the attention of the King of 
Spain, he severely criticised both officials, 
and directed that the property— which, he 
said, had not belonged to the Jesuits, but 
was only under the control of the superior 
to carry out Figueroa's will — should be 
continued in the same trust. He then 
appointed a Dominican to supervise the 
administration of the college. 

Though the Jesuits were allowed to return 
to the islands in 1852, the superior of the 
Order did not resume control of the college. 
The foundation continued to be under 

— 28 — 

Dominican supervision, and is now a part 
of the University of Santo Tomas. The 
funds are used, under the doctrine known to 
lawyers as the doctrine of cy pres, to 
maintain a school of medicine in the 
university. The Filipino Medical Associa- 
tion, as soon as the American government 
took control of the islands, insisted that 
this San Jose trust was a civil foundation, 
and that it was the duty of the American 
government to take possession as the 
trustee, and to '*run" the institution as 
a medical college free from ecclesiastical 
control. Much local bitterness grew out of 
the controversy, and the commission finally 
concluded to pass a law providing a special 
case for the Supreme Court of the islands 
to decide. It is now pending, but has not 
been brought to a hearing, because it was 
hoped, after the visit to Rome, that it might 
be settled by compromise. 

Fourth. Another class of questions arising 
between the government of the United 
States and the Roman Catholic Church is 
the question of rent and damages for the 
occupation of churches and conventos by 
the troops of the United States during the 
insurrection and subsequent thereto. You 
must know that nine-tenths of the popula- 
tion of- the Philippine Islands reside in 
houses made of a very light and temporary 

— 29 — 

material. They live in what are called 
"shacks" made of bamboo frames with 
roofs and sides of the nipa-palm. The 
houses are quickly constructed, easily moved 
and much subject to destruction by fire. 
The only permanent buildings in the ordi- 
nary town in the Philippines, with the 
exception of the municipal or town building 
and a few houses of the wealthy, are the 
church and the rectory, called the convento. 
The church is usually a large building of 
stone or brick, finely situated; and the 
convento is a great structure adjoining 
the church and connected with it. The 
convento offered excellent facilities as a 
barracks for the troops. As it happened 
that during the insurrection many of the 
churches and conventos were abandoned, 
the troops moved into them — very much to 
the satisfaction of the church authorities, 
because in this way their destruction was 
avoided. The insurgents early in the w^ar 
had pursued the policy of destroying the 
churches, in the belief that in this wise 
they would prevent the American troops 
from having places in w^hich to live. 
The occupation of the churches and con- 
ventos for military purposes continued for 
two years, and sometimes longer, and often 
for quite a period after all hostilities had 
ceased. This is the foundation for a reason- 

~3o — 

able claim against the United States for 
rent and for damages caused by the occupa- 
tion. The difficulty is in settling the proper 
amount due. 

Fifth. Another class of questions, and 
one which at present is perhaps the most 
troublesome, involves the question of 
title to a number of parish churches and 
conventos. In these cases, the title is 
claimed by the respective municipalities in 
w^hich the parish church and conventos 
stand ; and the people of some of these 
municipalities claim the right to turn the 
church and convento over to the so-called 
Independent Filipino Catholic Church, a 
schismatic body established by an apostate 
Roman Catholic priest named Aglipay. I 
shall speak more in detail of this question 
farther on. 

I think I have sufficiently stated and 
explained the questions betw^een the Church 
and the government to shov\^ that they 
were serious obstacles to the progress of 
the American government, if steps were not 
immediately taken to secure a settlement 
of them. It is not too much to say that 
the Church was as anxious to bring about 
a settlement as was the government. The 
commission recommended the purchase of 
the friars' lands as a solution of the 
difficulties arising with respect to them. 

— 31 — 

It had been fairly well ascertained that if 
the government bought the lands, the 
government as a landlord w^ould have less 
difficulty in dealing with the tenants than 
it would have in enforcing the rights of the 
friars as landlords; and that by offering to 
the tenants opportunity to purchase the 
lands on small annual payments for ten 
or twenty years, a transfer of the lands 
to the tenants might probably be effected 
without much, if any, pecuniary loss to 
the government. 

Through a prominent American prelate 
of the Roman Catholfc Church, it was 
intimated by the Vatican to Mr. Root, the 
Secretary of War, that if an agent of the 
government could be sent to Rome, the 
settlement of all these questions might be 
greatly facilitated by direct negotiation 
with the head of the Roman Church. The 
issue was presented to the President and 
the Secretary of War whether they ought 
to take the responsibility of a direct 
communication with the Vatican in the 
settlement of these questions. Of course 
the immediate objection to this was the 
possibility of severe condemnation by the 
non-Catholics of America, on the ground 
that it was a radical departure from the 
traditions of the government, and would be 
establishing diplomatic relations with the 

— 32 — 

head of the Roman Church, inconsistent 
with the separation of Church and State 
always maintained by our government. 
There was the natural fear that the purpose 
of the visit might thus be misconstrued and 
that a sectarian feeling would be aroused; 
so that the visit, instead of contributing 
to the solution of the difficulties in the 
Philippines, might prove to be a most serious 
obstacle. On the other hand, the President 
and Secretary of War thought it possible, 
after full and frank consultation with many 
leading clergymen of various denominations, 
to rely on the clear judgment and common- 
sense and liberality of all the American 
people, v^ho must see the supreme difficulties 
and exceptional character of the problem 
which the government had to meet in the 
Philippine Islands, and would welcome any 
reasonable step toward its solution. It was 
a business proposition. Was it wiser to deal 
with an agent of the great corporation of the 
Roman Church in the Philippine Islands, or 
with the head of the Church at Roman ? The 
disadvantage of dealing with an agent in the 
Philippine Islands was that unless direct and 
satisfactory communication v^as established 
with the head of the Church, the representa- 
tives of the Church in the islands would be 
likely to be more or less under the influence 
of the Spanish friars, whose attitude with 

— 33 — 

respect to the questions to be decided could 
not be expected, under the circumstances, to 
be impartial and free from bias. It was 
concluded, therefore, to accept the informal 
invitation, and to send a representative to 
the Vatican to deal directly with the Pope 
and with the Congregation of Cardinals, to 
whom in the ordinary course of business 
he would probably assign the matter. I 
was then the Governor of the Philippine 
Islands, visiting this country for the pur- 
pose of testifying before the congressional 
committees on Philippine affairs. 

It was thought appropriate that I should 
represent the government of the United 
States in the conferences at Rome. Judge 
James F. Smith, of the Supreme Court of 
the Phihppines Islands, a Roman CathoHc, 
then on leave in this country, was assigned 
to accompany me. In addition. Bishop 
Thomas O 'Gorman, the Catholic bishop of 
Sioux Falls, who had lived a long time in 
Rome and spoke French with much fluency, 
and Colonel John Biddle Porter, of the 
Judge Advocate's Corps of the Army, who 
also spoke French, made up the party. 
It was properly thought that Bishop 
O'Gorman's familiarity with the methods 
of doing business in the Vatican would be 
of much assistance to me in carrying on 
the negotiation. This proved to be in every 

— 34 — 

way true. Bishop O'Gorman preceded us 

iu the visit to Rome by about two weeks, 

and met us at Naples when the rest of us 

landed from the North German Lloyd 

steamer on our way to Rome, I had 

received a letter of instruction from the 

Secretary of War, a letter of introduction 

from the Secretary of State to Cardinal 

Rampolla, and a personal letter of courtesy 

and greeting from President Roosevelt to 

his Holiness Pope Leo XIII. We first 

called upon Cardinal Rampolla, who 

received us cordially, and indicated the 

time when the Pope would receive us in 

audience. At the appointed hour, through 

the magnificent chambers of the Vatican, 

v^e v^ere escorted into the presence of 

Leo XIII. From the moment that we 

were presented to the Pope until his death, 

we were constantly being made conscious 

of the fact that he took a real personal 

interest in the solution of the difficult 

problems vsrhich had to be solved between 

the Church and the Philippine government; 

and that he intended, so far as lay in his 

power, to bring about the most friendly 

relation between the United States in the 

Philippines and the church authorities. 

He received us most graciously, directed us 

to seats immediately in front of him, listened 

attentively while the address which I ^^(j 

— 35 — 

prepared, and which had been translated 
into French, was read to him by Colonel 
Porter. He responded in remarks of per- 
haps fifteen minutes in length, showing 
that he had caught the points which were 
presented to him in the address and fully 
understood them. Our audience was held 
with him, without the presence of any 
adviser, cardinal, priest or attendant. 

I had always had great admiration for 
Leo XIII. because of his statesmanlike 
grasp of the many portentous questions 
that were presented to him for discussion 
and solution; but I had supposed that in 
the latter years of his pontificate he had 
become so feeble as to be not much more 
than a lay figure in the Papal government, 
and that, except for a more formal greeting 
and salutation, we should have to trans- 
act our business with the Curia. I w^as 
greatly surprised, therefore, to find this 
grand old man of ninety-two, though some- 
what bent in years and delicate - looking, 
still able to walk about ; and, what was 
more remarkable, keen and active in his 
mind, easily following the conversation and 
addresses made to him, and responding 
v^ith a promptness and clearness of intel- 
lectual vision rarely found in men of old age. 
Nothing could exceed the cordial gracious- 
ness and simple, kindly manner with which 


he received us. After the serious part of 
the audience had been concluded, he made 
inquiries after our families and our health, 
and lightened the conversation with a 
genial w^it and sense of humor that were 
very charming. He assured us of his 
great delight at our coming and of his 
determination to insure the success of 
our visit. 

After our first audience with the Pope, I 
presented my letter of instruction to Car- 
dinal Rampolla, which was referred by him 
to the proper Congregation of Cardinals, 
'and the negotiations thereafter were in 
writing. The answer of the Vatican to the 
Secretary of War's instructions contained 
a general acquiescence in the desire of the 
government of the United States to purchase 
the friars' lands, and an announcement of 
the Vatican's intention to effect a change in 
the personnel of the priests in the islands, by 
a gradual substitution for the Spanish friars 
of priests of other nationalities, with the 
ultimate purpose of fitting Filipinos for the 
clergy; and a proposal that all the matters^ 
pending should be turned over for settle- 
ment to a conference between an Apostolic 
Delegate to be sent to the Philippine Islands 
and the ofiicers of the Insular government. 

The correspondence has been published, 
and I shall not weary you with its details 

— 37 — 

further than to say that, in the response 
to the first letter received from Cardinal 
Rampolla, we thought it proper to propose 
a definite contract between the government 
of the islands and the Vatican for the 
purchase of the lands, at a price to be 
fixed by a tribunal of arbitration, which 
should pass not only upon the price of 
the lands but also upon the question of the 
trust foundations already referred to, and 
which should fix for the approval of Congress 
the amount of rent and damages due for*^ 
the occupation of the churches and conventos 
by the United States troops. It was further 
proposed that this contract should have a 
condition by which the Vatican would agree " 
to withdraw the friars in the course of 
three years. 

To this condition the Vatican declined 
to agree. It was willing to make a 
definite contract for arbitration, but it 
declined to agree as one of its terms to 
.withdraw the friars from the islands: first, 
because that was a question of religious 
discipline which, it did not think, ought to 
form a term of a commercial contract; 
secondly, because it did not desire, by such 
a stipulation, to reflect upon the Spanish 
religious Orders, and thus give apparent 
support to the slanders which had been pub- 
lished against the Orders by their enemies; 


and, thirdly, because such agreement would 
be offensive to Spain. We, on the part of 
the United States, under the instructions of 
the Secretary War, did not feel authorized 
to enter into a contract of arbitration with 
all the uncertainty as to the extent of 
the obligation assumed, if it did not include 
as a consideration the withdrawal of the 
Spanish friars ; and accordingly we reverted ^ 
to the general agreement proposed in the 
Vatican's first letter, in which the Church 
indicated its approval of the purchase of 
the lands, and the settlement of the other 
questions by negotiation v^ith an Apostolic 
Delegate to be sent w^ith full powers to 

We were honored by a second audience 
with Leo XIII. on our departure. We had 
received at his hands great courtesy, had 
been invited to attend his consistory held 
while we were in Rome, and had much 
enjoyed that interesting occasion. He talked 
to us on the subject of the Philippines for 
some twenty or thirty minutes, and assured 
us again of his intense interest in the friendly 
solution of the questions .arising there, and 
of his determination that they should all 
be solved to the satisfaction of the American 
government. He intimated that while we 
had not possibly been as successful as we 
hoped, we would find that through his 

— 39 — 

Apostolic Delegate, whom he would send, 
the whole matter would be worked out to 
our satisfaction. 

I count it one of the opportunities of my 
life to have had the honor of a personal 
interview with so great an historical figure. • 
Fragile in body almost to the point of 
transparency, with beautiful eyes, and a 
continuing smile full of benignity and 
charity, he seemed a being w^hose life could 
be blown out like a candle flame; and yet 
there was no apparent failing of intellectual 
vigor or keenness, and there ^were all the 
charm of manner and courtesy of the 
high-bred Italian. 

After the conclusion of the negotiations 
at Rome, I proceeded to the Philippine 
Islands to resume the duties of Governor. 
Within four or five months I was followed' 
by the Apostolic Delegate, Monsignor Jean 
Baptiste Guidi, titular Archbishop of 
Stauropoli. From that time until I left 
the islands in December, 1903, I was con- 
stantly in conference with Monsignor Guidi. 
Nothing could have proven more conclu- 
sively the sincerity of the Pope's desire 
to establish friendly relations with the 
American government in the Philippines and 
to bring about a solution satisfactory to 
both sides, than his selection of Monsignor 
Guidi as Apostolic Delegate. He was a 

— 40 — 

man of the widest pQlitical and diplomatic 
experience ; he was a Roman, but had Hved 
in Germany for fourteen years; had been 
the Secretary of the Papal Nuncio at Berlin ; 
had been himself the Papal Nuncio in Brazil 
and in Ecuador and the United States of 
Colombia, and had visited America, where 
a brother, Father Guidi, had lived for 
twenty years as a Jesuit priest among the 
Indians in the Rocky Mountains. He was a 
profound student of comparative philology, 
spoke a dozen languages,"^ was a man of 
affairs, and dealt in the largest and most 
liberal way with questions presented to him. 
When we began the negotiations for fix- 
ing the price of the friars' lands, the task 
seemed a hopeless one. Monsignor Guidi 
labored under the great disadvantage that, 
while he w^as anxious to bring about a sale, 
he could not control the owners of the lands. 
The transfer to promoting corporations had 
apparently put the decision, as to the price 
in the hands of promoters, — persons not so 
much interested in a solution of the problem 
as in the mere question of the amount of 
money which should be secured. For more 
than a year and a half, the negotiations 
were continued; evidence w^as taken as to 
the value of the lands, and finally by great 
good fortune we were able to reach an 
agreement, and signed contracts for the 

— 41 — 

purchase and sale of the lands the day 
before I set sail from Manila to return to 
Washington — on the 24th of December, 1903. 
The first offers on the part of the 
owners aggregated $12,500,000 : our first 
offer was $6,000,000. Their second offer 
was $10,500,000: we raised our offer 
$1,500,000; and this price of ^7,500,000 
was agreed to as a basis, on condition 
that there should be left out of the sale 
one hacienda already sold to a railroad 
company, compensation for which in the 
price would reduce it to $7,200,000. A 
deficiency in area has now reduced the price 
to about $7,000,000. The evidence taken 
as to their value is printed as an appendix 
to the report of the Governor for 1903. 
The question of the value of agricultural 
lands like these is, of course, a mere matter 
of opinion which can not be settled with 
certainty. My own view is that the price 
paid for the lands under present conditions 
is a good one and certainly fair to the 
vendors; but that if prosperity returns to 
the islands, and if the development follow, 
which we have a reasonable ground for 
supposing will follow, the government will 
be able to recoup itself by the price at 
which it can sell the lands to the tenants, 
and thus discharge the debt which it 
has now contracted in order to pay the 

— 42 — 

purchase price of the lands. The contract 
of purchase provided for a resurvey of 
the lands, or rather a joint survey, and 
also that a good merchantable title should 
be furnished. 

With three of the four promoting com- 
panies we have reached a satisfactory 
conclusion, and the money v^ill be paid 
within a few days. With the fourth — the 
company representing the Dominican lands — 
there has been considerable dispute over 
the contract price and the title. We have 
the money ready to pay in a Nev^ York bank, 
but there is such a deficiency in the area 
that it must be compensated for under the 
contract by an abatement of the price. I 
am glad to say that the last dispatch I 
had from Governor Wright indicates that 
the Spanish gentleman representing the 
promoting company, after threatening to 
break off negotiation, has concluded to be 
reasonable and that a settlement w^ith the 
fourth company is near at hand. 

There is, we understand, some question 
as to the division of the money between the 
Religious Orders and the Church. The 
Vatican has intimated that a very con- 
siderable part of the money paid ought to be 
retained in the Philippines for the purpose of 
maintaining the Church; and of course all 
w^ho are interested in the islands must be 

— 43 — 

interested in having as large a fund as 
possible to assist in the restoration of the 
Church of the majority to a prosperous 
condition. It would seem that the Church 
might very well say to the friars that much 
of the money which they had accumulated 
was earned through their administration 
of Church matters as parish priests, and 
that that money at least ought to be 
retained for general church purposes in the 
islands. However, this is a matter with 
which we, as representatives of the civil 
government, have nothing to do, though 
in its solution we properly have a general 
interest, growing out of our interest in 
everything which concerns the welfare of 
the people of the islands ; and the prosperity 
of all Christian churches among them 
certainly tends to their betterment. 

Nothing has been done toward a solution 
of the trust questions, because there was 
not time for Archbishop Guidi and me 
to reach those less pressing matters. The 
amount to be paid by the . government of 
the United States for the occupation of the 
churches and conventos is in the process of 
being ascertained. Evidence has been taken 
on both sides, and I have no doubt that 
with the coming of the new Delegate a 
proper sum can speedily be reached. This 
leads me to express my deep regret that 

— 44 — 

Monsignor Guidi, the Apostolic Delegate, 
died from heart disease last June in Manila. 
I regretted this both personally and offi- 
cially, because we were very warm friends. 
He had become so familar with all the 
questions, and had approached them with 
so statesmanlike and liberal a spirit that 
I am convinced that v^ith his assistance 
all the questions awaiting solution would 
have been speedily settled. I have not the 
pleasure or the honor of the acquaintance 
of the nev^ Apostolic Delegate, but I am 
assured that he is a worthy successor of 
Monsignor Guidi. If so, we may look forward 
to an early conclusion of all the differences 
that now^ exist. 

I ought to say that though the Vatican 
declined as a term of the contract to with- 
draw the Spanish friars from the Phillip- 
pines, they have been very largely reduced 
in number, — indeed, in a much shorter time^' 
than that in which we asked the Vatican to 
stipulate they should be. There were over 
1000 friars in the Philippines in 1898: 
by the first of January, 1904, they had 
been reduced to 246 ; and 83 of these 
were Dominicans who have renounced the 
right to go into the parishes and have 
devoted themselves to education. Fifty of 
the remainder are infirm and unable to do 
any work, or indeed to leave the islands 

— 45 — 

on account of the danger of the change 
of climate; so that there are only a few 
more than 100 available to be sent back 
to the parishes, and of these many are 
so engaged in educational work as to 
make it impracticable for them to act as 
parish priests. The consequence is that, as 
there are more than 900 parishes, the, 
question of the intervention of the Spanish 
friars in the islands as parish "priests ceases 
to be important. 

When the Filipinos were advised that the 
Roman Pontiff would not formally and by 
contract agree to withdraw^ the friars as 
a condition of the purchase of the lands, 
Aglipay, a former Catholic priest, took 
advantage of the disappointment felt at 
the announcement to organize a schism 
and to found what he calls the ''Indepen- 
dent Filipino Catholic Church." 

Aglipay had been a priest rather favored 
by the Spanish hierarchy. He had been made 
the grand vicar of the diocese of Nueva 
Segovia, of which Vigan is the head. When 
Aguinaldo, with his government, was at 
Malolos, and afterward at Tarlac, Aglipay 
appeared and acted as his chief religious 
adviser. He w^as called 'to Manila by the 
archbishop, and, declining to go, was excom- 
municated. Subsequently he was given a 
guerrilla command in Ilocos Norte, and as a 


gnerrilla leader acquired a rather unenviable 
reputation for insubordination. His general- 
issimo, Tinio, issued an order (which I have 
seen) directing that he be seized and cap- 
tured w^herever found, and turned over to 
the military authorities for punishment as 
a bandit. Hov^ever, he surrendered among 
others, and gave over his forces to the 
United States. 

Popular hatred of the friars gave force to 
his movement, and he had the sympathy of 
many v^ealthy and educated Filipinos v^ho 
declined to join his church and were not 
v^illing to leave the Roman communion, but 
whose dislike for the friars and their control 
aroused their opposition to the apparent 
course of Rome in this matter. The adher- 
ents of Aglipay came largely from the poorer 
people throughout the islands. The vicious 
and turbulent all joined the ranks; every 
demagogue and every disappointed poli- 
tician who saw the initial rapid increase in 
the membership of the new church, joined 
it in order to get the benefit of its supposed 
political strength. 

The use of the words '' independent 
Filipino" in the name of the church was 
probably intended to secure popular support, 
though it was not an improper use of the 
v^ords to describe such a schism. In this 
v^ay it has occurred that politicians have 

— 47 — 

made Aglipayism mean one thing in one 
place and another thing in another; and 
that while generally it may be said that 
the church is recruited from those who 
would join an insurrection if opportunity 
offered, and embraces most of those enrolled 
in the Nationalist party, whose platform 
favors immediate independence, there are 
many respectable followers of Aglipay, not 
Nationalists, who separated from the Roman 
Church chiefly on the basis of opposition 
to the friars. Aguinaldo was. one of the 
first to enrol himself as a follower of Aglipay, 
*and published a letter advising Filipinos 
generally to do so. 

Aglipay has installed himself as Obispo 
Maximo of the Independent Filipino Catholic 
Church, and has created fifteen or twenty 
bishops. He and his bishops have organ- 
ized churches in various provinces. Of 
course the first business of the new church 
authorities is to secure church buildings and 
property, and they turn with longing eyes 
to the churches and parish houses heretofore 
used by the Roman Catholic Church. They 
maintain that these churches are really 
government property, and that therefore 
the people of the islands may, if they wish, 
properly take them from the authorities of 
the Roman Church and give them to the 
Independent Filipino Catholic Church. There 


are churches and chapels which have not 
been occupied as such by the Roman CathoHc 
Church for four or five years, because of 
the inadequate number of priests. In some 
of these church and chapel buildings, with the 
consent of the townspeople, priests of the 
Aglipayan church have set up their worship. 
In other places, church buildings have 
been constructed of temporary materials. 
Aglipay looks forward to the early 
independence of the islands because, as he 
says, he expects that under a Filipino 
government all the property now held by 
the Roman Church in the islands will be 
properly appropriated to the benefit of the 
Independent Filipino Catholic Church, then to 
become the State Church. The possibility that 
confiscation of church property might follow 
the leaving of the islands by the Americans 
in the near future, may be judged somewhat 
by the action of the Aguinaldo government 
in confiscating the friar lands; though, of 
course, the feeling against the friars was 
much stronger than Aglipay could arouse 
against the Roman Church. This govern- 
ment in giving up control of the islands 
could require as a condition from the new 
government that no such confiscation of 
church lands should take place; but it is 
doubtful of hov^ much avail a stipulation of 
this character would be, if courts organized 

-^49 — 

under the new government were to hold 
that all the property in possession of the 
Roman Church in the islands were really 
government property. But would not the 
majority of good Roman Catholics among 
the people prevent such proceedings in case 
of Philippine independence ? I do not know. 
It is possible. The difficulty with the Filipino 
people, however, has heretofore been that 
when the guiding and restraining hand 
of Spain or the United States has been 
withdrawn, it has been the violent and the 
extremists who have come to the front 
and seized the helm. 

Let us examine somewhat more in 
detail what this question of the title of 
the parish churches and convento is. 

Under the Concordat with Spain, Spain, 
by reason of the control of church matters 
which was given her, assumed the obligation 
to construct the churches and conventos and 
to pay the priests a yearly stipend. As we 
have already seen, the parish priest, who 
was usually a friar, had absolute control 
over the people and parish w^here he 
lived. He induced the people to contribute 
material and work to the construction of 
the church, to the building of the parish 
house or convento, and the laying out 
of the cemetery. He selected his site in 
the most prominent place in the town. 

— 50 — 

usually upon the public square. The title in 
the site was either in the municipality itself 
or in the central government of Spain as 
the Crown land. The close union of Church 
and State made it unnecessary to procure 
a formal patent from the State to the 
Church, and so it is that many of the 
churches stand upon what the records show 
to be public property. Now, in towns in 
which a majority of the people belong to 
the Aglipayan church (and there are such 
towns), it is quite natural that they should 
think that the church, convento and cem- 
etery belong to the municipality, and so 
should be used as desired by the majority 
of the people of the municipality. In some 
instances, the native parish priest himself 
has deserted the Roman communion and 
has joined the Aglipayan church. In such 
cases the priest has simply turned over to the 
municipality the possession of the church, 
convento and cemetery, and received it back 
as a priest of the Aglipayan church at the 
instance of the people of the municipality. 
Personally, as a lawyer, I am convinced 
that in most cases the churches, conventos 
and cemeteries belong, not to the people 
of the municipality or to the municipality, 
but to the Roman Catholics of the parish; 
that they were given to be used by the 
Roman Catholics of the parish for Roman 

— 51 — 

Catholic worship, for the residence of the 
Roman CathoHc priest, and for the interment 
of Roman CathoHcs ; that this was a trust 
which required, if completely executed, that 
the title should be, according to canon 
law, in the bishop of the diocese ; and that, 
therefore, the Roman Catholic Church is 
entitled to possession, through its priests, 
for the benefit of the Catholics of the parish. 
This opinion of mine is founded on an 
official opinion given by the Solicitor- 
General, a Filipino lawyer of the highest 
ability, but it, of course, can not control 
the decisions of the courts when their 
opinion is invoked upon the issue; and 
what their opinion is can be author- 
itatively settled only by suits brought 
and decided; for this is a question which, 
because of its importance, might very well 
be carried through the Supreme Court of 
the islands to the Supreme Court of the 
United States. 

The Executive has been powerless to 
prevent a change of possession where that 
change of possession was peaceable and 
effected without violence or disturbance of 
the peace. The only recourse for the Roman 
Church in such cases is to the courts. 
Both sides have avoided the courts on the 
ground that it would be expensive to go 
to them, and have looked to the Executive 

— 52 — 

to assist them. Much feeling exists over 
these questions of property; and we find 
that good, conscientious CathoHcs, includ- 
ing some of the American bishops in the 
Philippines, insist that it is the business of 
the Executive to determine in advance the 
question of title or rightful possession and 
to turn the Aglipayans out. Such a course 
v^ould involve the Executive in all sorts 
of difficulties, and is contrary to our prin- 
ciples of judicature, in that it would be 
taking from the municipalities, without due 
process of law something of which they 
w^ere in possesson. It is said that because 
municipalities are merely the arm of the 
central government, and because, as the 
Executive ought to know, the municipalities 
have no title to the property, it is his 
business as the executive and superior of 
the municipalities to order them out of 
possession. But the difficulty here is that 
under the Treaty of Paris the property of 
the municipality, as well as the property of 
the religious Orders, is declared to be 
inviolate by the central government; and 
it would, therefore, savor of most arbitrary 
action were the governor to declare the 
title in advance and direct the municipality 
to give up possession. In other words, the 
municipality in such action is to be treated 
as a quasi - citizen and as having property 

— 53 — 

rights over which the central government 
has no arbitrary control. The Philippine 
government is now engaged in preparing 
for the establishment of a special tribunal 
which shall go through the provinces and 
consider all the questions arising from the 
churches and conventos and cemeteries, 
decide the same, and place the judgments 
in the hands of the Executive and have 
them executed. In this way a burning 
question, and one which is likely to involve 
a great deal of bitterness and perhaps 
disturb the public peace, can be disposed 
of with least friction, with least expense, 
with greatest speed, and with a due regard 
to everybody's rights. 

Archbishop Guidi adopted the policy, 
w^hich I can not but think is the wrise one, 
of accepting the resignation of the Spanish 
archbishop and bishops who had formed 
the hierarchy in the Philippine Islands, and 
all of whom were friars; and appointing in 
their places one Filipino bishop, an American 
archbishop of Manila and three American 
bishops. I speak with considerable knowl- 
edge when I say that the work which 
these prelates will have to perform in order 
that they may be successful will require an 
immense amount of patience, charity, self- 
sacrifice, self-restraint and hard work; but 
ultimately the reward for their labors will 

— 54 — 

come, and when it comes will be amply 
worth all the effort. I sincerely hope that 
the coming of the Catholic bishops means the 
gradual increase of the number of American 
priests who may be induced to take parishes 
in the islands, and to instruct the native 
clergy, both by precept and example, in what 
constitues a model priest of the Roman 
Catholic Church. The elevation of the priest- 
hood in those islands means much for the 
elevation of the people. The American priests 
are used to free government, to a separation 
of Church and State, and to a church 
independent of political control and political 

I am not a Catholic, and as a member of 
the government I have no right to favor one 
sect or denomination more than another; 
but I have a deep interest in the welfare of 
the Philippine Islands, as anyone charged 
with the civil government of them must 
have. And when I know that a majority of 
the people there are sincere Roman Catholics, 
anything which tends to elevate them in 
their church relation is, I must think, for the 
benefit of the government and the welfare 
of the people at large. 

There are Protestant missionaries in the 
islands. They have done excellent work. 
They have conducted themselves with the 
utmost propriety and tact; and there has 

— 55 — 

been very little, if any, conflict between 
them and the Roman Catholics. If anyone is 
interested in the local differences growing out 
of the presence in the islands of the Roman 
Catholics, the Aglipayans and the Protest- 
ants, which have been brought to the 
attention of the Executive of the islands for 
action, he can find a full account of them 
as an appendix to the report of the civil 
governor of the islands for 1903. There 
is work enough in the Philippines for all 
denominations. The schools and charities 
v^hich all denominations are projecting will 
accomplish much for the benefit of those 
aided ; and the Christian competition — if I 
may properly use such a term — among the 
denominations in doing good w^ill furnish the 
strongest motive for the maintenance of a 
high standard of life, character and works 
among all the clergy, and so promote the 
general welfare. 

One subject I must touch upon before I 
close, and that is the public schools and the 
teaching of religion. Under the limitations 
of the constitution and the instructions of 
President McKinley requiring us to keep 
Church and State separate, v^e could not 
expend the public money for the teaching of 
religion ; but we provided in the school law 
that at the instance of the parents of the, 
children, for a certain time each week, the 


schoolhouse could be occupied for the 
teaching of rehgion by the minister of any 
church estabHshed in the town, or by anyone 
designated by him. I am glad to say that 
this provision is working satisfactorily. In 
many towns, by arrangement, the public 
schools have their sessions in the morning 
and the catechism schools are held in the 
churches in the afternoon. 

The Roman Catholics of this country and 
the Philippines have, not unnaturally, felt 
sensitive over the fact that a considerable 
majority of the American schoolteachers 
were Protestants. This arose from the 
simple fact that the number of Protestant 
teachers disengaged and able to go to the 
Philippines was very much greater than 
Catholic teachers so situated. However, it 
must not be forgotten that all Filipino 
teachers — three thousand in number, and 
more than three times as many as the 
American teachers— are Catholics. Naturally, 
the Filipino teachers come much nearer to 
the children of the primary school than do 
the American teachers. Again, we have 
imposed the severest penalty upon any 
teacher found trying to proselyte or to teach 
children ideas in favor of one religion or 
against another. The Secretary of Public In- 
struction and the Superintendent of Schools 
in Manila are both' Roman Catholics, so 

— 57 — 

that it is unlikely that any discrimination 
against their religion will be permitted in 
the school system. The American teachers 
in the Philippines are of necessity temporary. 
The ultimate object of the public school 
system is to secure ten or fifteen thousand 
Filipino teachers who will be able to teach 
all branches in English. They certainly are 
not likely to be prejudiced against the 
Catholic Church. 

Of course, it is the duty of this government, 
and all acting under it, to treat every 
denomination with strict impartiality, and 
to secure the utmost freedom of religious 
worship for all. 

It is natural that a good Catholic without 
government responsibility should hold Agli- 
pay and his followers in abhorrence as 
apostates from the true Church as he believes 
it; and should view with little patience 
governmental recognition of them as a new- 
church entitled to as much protection, when 
they do not violate the law or the rights 
of others, as either the Roman Catholic 
or the Protestant denomination. But 
neither the civil government under American 
principles of freedom of religion, nor any 
officer thereof, whatever may be his religious' 
predilections, can examine into the creed or 
history of a church, or determine its virtues 
or shortcomings, but must secure its mem- 


bers in their right to worship God as they 
choose, so long as they keep within the laws 
and violate no one's rights. Of course where 
the government owes money or is under any 
other legal obligation to a church, it may 
properly facilitate the negotiation of a settle- 
ment and the payment of the money or the 
performance of its obligation from the proper 
motive not only of doing justice but also of 
generally aiding those institutions which 
make for the moral and religious elevation of 
the people. On this ground, and because of 
the danger of the disturbance of the peace 
from such controversy, it may properly 
provide special judicial tribunals for suits 
betw^een churches over property. It is a 
mistake to suppose that the American 
government is Opposed to the success and 
prosperity of churches. It favors their 
progress; it exempts them from taxation; 
it protects their worship from disturbance; 
it passes laws for their legal incorporation. 
But it can not discriminate in favor of one 
or against another. It must treat all alike. 
It is exceedingly difficult, however, in the 
heat of religious controversy betwreen sects 
to convince both sides that the course 
of the government is free from favor to 
either party. We have not escaped criti- 
cism, first from one side and then the other 
in the Philippines; but a perusal of the 

— 59 — 

record of each controversy, contained in the 
Governor's report for 1903, already referred 
to, will show that the government has 
attempted to pursue the middle line, and 
has fairly well succeeded. 

In closing this long and somewhat 
desultory discussion, I can not refrain from 
expressing my gratification that, on the 
v^hole, the Administration in this country 
has found the utmost liberality of view 
among American Catholics and Protestants 
alike in the manner in which its efforts to 
solve these delicate religious questions have 
been received and commented on. While 
there has been some bitter condemnation of 
the course taken it seemed to come only 
from extremists on one side or the other, and 
v^as not shared in, I think, by the great 
body of Catholics and Protestants. It speaks 
volumes for the religious tolerance of the 
present day that the motives of the Admin- 
istration in sending an agent to Rome for 
negotiation were not generally misconstrued, 
and that the result of that negotiation 
has met with the general and intelligent 
approval of all denominations. I do not 
think that such a result would have been 
possible in this nation thirty years ago, or 
that a similar tolerance and liberality could 
be found to exist between different religious 
denominations of any other country. 


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